Theo and his sister Hazel come from a family poor in material things but rich in generosity. Prince Virgil is their closest friend. He loves them because they never treat him different for being a prince. But Theo has a secret, he is a boy who can do magic. In a land where girls are gifted with magic and practice it openly, a boy with magic is dangerous because he can challenge the throne. The king and his eldest son are supposed to be the only males born with the gift. When Theo makes a mistake and Prince Virgil learns his secret, the prince is torn between fear of losing what is his and love for his friend.
The Fairendale series is written for 8 to 12 year olds. The writing style is a little old fashioned and may turn off young people accustomed to the fast paced, dialog heavy books common to modern children’s literature. However, kids who enjoy the fantasy genre or classic novels will appreciate a book that doesn’t speak down to them. The complex story with interweaving storylines will also appeal to parents and maybe even teens.
While most new fairy tales are either derivative of stories we already know or have an ironic tone and modern sensibility, Fairendale feels like a place L.R. Patton discovered while wandering in the enchanted forest where such stories live. And as all fairy tales did before the time of Disney, it shows that life is complex and things can go wrong even when you try to do what is right. And don’t we all need to know we too can get through even when it seems like everything is against us?
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